Crossed By Death (Stitches In Crime #1)
by A.C.F. Bookens
My Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF
Salvaging from historic buildings isn’t supposed to require reporting a murder.
When salvage expert and historian Paisley Sutton crawls into an abandoned store with a house attached, she certainly isn’t expecting to find a body on site. But soon, her discovery sends Paisley on an expedition through history that links this murder to the one that led the previous owners to abandon the building in the first place. And someone doesn’t want her to salvage this story from the wreckage.
Can Paisley preserve herself and her young son while also uncovering the stories that matter most?
I received a free copy of this book from the author and voluntarily reviewed it.
I’ve been wanting to read one of this author’s book for a while now and own multiple of her books already. I am glad I decided to check out Crossed by Death, the first book in her newest series. I liked the unique focus of this series, Paisley is not only a single mom to a 2 year old, she also does salvaging work as a job and cross stitching as a hobby. It was interesting reading about her daily life and when she stumbles upon a dead body she gets pulled deeper into the mystery as well as researching the history of the convenience store where she found the body.
Crossed by Death was an enjoyable read. At times it feels a bit heavy of the daily life parts compared the mystery, but I mostly thought that worked here. I enjoyed reading about Paisley and what her days looked like, although at times it was a bit toddler heavy for me. I am not a big fan of reading about kids and at times it was a bit much for me. I think the author handled it really well, Sawyer had quite the personality and there are plenty of scenes with him in the background or somewhere else as well.
The mystery is a solid one. For most of the book I had no clue who was behind it, slowly more and more of the mystery comes to light, but only at the end do all the pieces come together. I was surprised by the reveal as there aren’t as many hints as to who was behind it, but it did make sense. I liked how Paisley was part of the mystery. As she found the body and might be in danger herself she knows a bit about what’s going on and then she’s looking into the history of the store where she found the body and getting closer to the sheriff on the case and she slowly gets pulled deeper into the mystery that way. I like how the mystery is nicely woven throughout the book even in the pieces where the focus was more on the daily life parts. I also liked how the mystery is intertwined with Paisley figuring out the history of the place as well, it gave some more background and information about the place and eventually also the murder. The historical focus was interesting and I liked how it added to the story as well as Paisley’s personality. I liked the wrap up at the end and the positive note it all ended on.
One of my favorite parts of this book was how realistic it felt, the daily struggles and joys of a single mom, as well as the way she dealt with the mystery. She tried to keep her distance from the mystery and mostly focused on researching the history of the building for her newsletter. She also didn’t annoyed about the sheriff trying to protect her, which you sometimes see in books. She understood the need for it and was thankful for it and I liked that attitude.
This book also had some great side characters. I liked how Paisley had some close friends and family who supported her and are there to help her out, whether she needs emotional support or someone to look after her kid or someone to bounce ideas off. I liked reading about her dad and step-mom as well as her best friend Mika. I also liked seeing Paisley and Santiago (the sheriff) grow closer as the book progresses. I really liked their romance and the way it slowly builds through the book in a way that made sense and I liked their chats on the porch. I am curious to see where things go next.
To summarize: I really enjoyed this book. It was a solid mystery that progressed slowly throughout the book as well as the main character researching the history of the place where she found the body. There is plenty of daily life scenes as well and I liked reading about Paisley. This cozy mystery had themes I haven’t read about often in cozies, with Paisley being a single mom, a salvage expert and doing cross stitches as a hobby. I wasn’t sure who was behind the murder and the reveal was a surprise to me. I liked Paisley as a main character and how realistic her actions felt. I liked the side characters and how she had some great family and friends around her. I liked the slowly deepening relationship she had with Santiago, the sheriff. All in all a solid start to this new series and I look forward to the next book!
I’ve been curious about this one since I saw it in your Sunday book haul. It sounds like a winner with the type of character she is, her realistic life, the mystery that made sense, but not easily solved, and the connection to her work with buildings and stuff. Great review.
Sophia Rose recently posted…Sweet Audio Delight Review: The Witch is Inn by Danielle Garrett
I really liked this one and how realistic the main character and her life is. And I like mysteries that make sense. The whole focus on the history of the building was really interesting too. I am looking forward to more books in this series and already have most of the books in her other series too.
Having a single mother of a small child is unusual in a cosy mystery and it sounds as if the author pulled it off – not necessarily an easy thing to do. Thank you for your detailed and thoughtful review of this one, Lola:))